I must admit that I was a tad bit skeptical as I walked into the theater to see the Footloose remake. I’m a fan of the 1984 original, in which Kevin Bacon starred, and I couldn’t help but wonder to myself how could the new version would stand up against the old. Upon my viewing, the answer was simple; there was no comparison.
Having seen the original a countless number of times, it became quite obvious early on that the storyline was going to follow directly with the previous film. The new version even went so far as to duplicate some of the lines from the original. There was some modernization to coincide with the different eras in which the films take place; such as the kids having iPods and listening to rap, and some of the dancing was reminiscent of what could be seen in the dance film Step Up.
Julianne Hough, best known for her appearances on the ABC hit reality show Dancing with the Stars, does a good job in her first leading role, as Ariel Moore. Hough’s portrayal of the rebellious Ariel is a quite enjoyable. Kenny Wormald, making his acting debut, plays Ren McCormack, the new guy in town. Considering the iconic shoes of Kevin Bacon, of which Wormald has been tasked with filling, I’d say he did a serviceable job. It’s difficult not to compare the performances to those that came before, so in order to give Wormald his just deserts I’d like to see him act in something using an original script and not something redone. Dennis Quaid as Reverend Shaw Moore and Andi MacDowell as Vi Moore, both do a fantastic job as Ariel’s parents. Their performances were on par with the acting done by John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest, who played the same roles in the original. The one bright spot in the remade film was Miles Teller, who played Ren’s best friend Willard. Teller gave one of my favorite performances in the film. Teller’s Ren added a humor which made the film much more enjoyable. Teller’s performance outshined the job done by his 1984 counterpart, the late Christopher Penn.
Having seen a screening of the film, I’m not sure I would pay full theatre price to see this; If you are on the fence about going, I say skip it. It’s a movie that won’t lose much in a transfer from the big screen to the small screen; therefore, wait for it to come out on DVD and get it from NetFlix or Redbox. The Soundtrack however, is definitely worth checking out. The music from the movie included some of the songs from the original film; however each song has been modernized. I really liked how the songs were different, but not to the point that you weren’t able to recognize them. Save your ticket money and buy the music instead.
Age Appropriate: 16+
Award worthiness: None